SMWS 48.133 Worm tub gunk
Posted 01 July 2021 by Matt / In Balmenach
Bottle Name: 48.133 Worm tub gunk
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Flavour Profile: Spicy & dry
Balmenach is one of the lesser-known distilleries still operating worm tubs for their condensing – though in the case of this distillery they’re more external ‘tanks’ than what you might think of as tubs (such as at Dalwhinnie). Weighty, sometimes meaty spirit is the result – and its nice to see the Society bottling it at a decent age – as to my mind this style of spirit often takes a little longer in cask to really allow its character to shine through when bottled as a single malt.
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Nose: Fruits and funk. Fruit salad chews, lemon oils and clementines provide a juicy foundation for Key Lime pie, meringue and piquant ginger extract. Sitting abreast of it all – lamp oils, lubricants and greases. Dilution retains the appealing character with custard cream biscuits and desiccated coconut added to soft wax and damp wool.
Taste: Thicky, oily and notably textured. There’s a real glide across the palate here. Stem ginger and wild honey join shredded wheat whilst chilli pepper heat builds across the top of gummies and chews, livened by chai latte and a dusting of cinnamon. Reduction retains the weight of the spirit – and the spice – adding bung cloth and sour cream together with rosehips.
Finish: Medium and favouring mixed fruits and chilli spices.
Old school Scotch wrapped up in new school clothes – and highly likable with it. There’s plenty of depth and grunt here from the weighty Balmenach spirit – and that has combined excellently with the ex-bourbon barrel that’s been utilised here, resulting in fruits and funk set to detonate with a chilli pepper fuse. It won’t be for everyone, but if this is your jam – it certainly comes recommended.
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